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Published on Nov 3, 2014
Grand visions provided the inspiration for the two building projects from different eras that now form a single entity in Frankfurt’s Ostend: the Grossmarkthalle and the new premises of the European Central Bank (ECB).
The Grossmarkthalle – Frankfurt’s former wholesale market hall – was built between 1926 and 1928 on the basis of the design of Martin Elsaesser. At the time of its construction, it was the largest, free-spanning reinforced concrete structure in the world. The design of Vienna-based architects COOP HIMMELB(L)AU for the ECB’s new premises, which won first prize in the 2005 architectural design competition, was no less visionary or unique than that of the former market hall. The distinctive glass office tower, which is linked to the Grossmarkthalle by an entrance building, serves as a landmark in Frankfurt’s Ostend and provides a counterpoint to the high-rise buildings in the city centre.
After completion of the construction works, the ECB moved in November 2014 to its new, modern and sustainable premises that were built to meet its specific requirements. These premises in Frankfurt’s Ostend are now the centre for managing the currency of one of the largest economic areas in the world.
1:05 mins International architectural design competition (20 February 2004)